Search Results for ‘"toy gun"’

Cleveland police union plans to sue toy gun makers

“The Cleveland Patrolmen’s Association announced it will soon be filing a lawsuit against toy gun manufacturers in federal court… [seeking] to restrict the design of toy guns, so they don’t look so realistic.” City police came under nationwide criticism following the fatal police shooting of Tamir Rice, 12, who was in possession of a toy gun at a park. [WEWS News 5 Cleveland]

“N.J. senator proposes toy gun ban”

Water pistols would be included if they looked realistic, and, according to a critic of the bill, parents might be breaking the law, which carries prison penalties, just for giving their offspring one of the forbidden playthings as a gift. Several states have already enacted similar bans. (7Online/WABC, Jul. 11).

Police roundup

  • BBC on Baltimore police gun trace task force scandal [Jessica Lussenhop] Didn’t even bother using the real kind: “Baltimore Cops Carried Toy Guns to Plant on People They Shot, Trial Reveals” [Drew Schwartz, Vice]
  • Kentucky state police to media: do not put anything out about our investigations on social media “until OUR (KSP) press release is sent out.” Really? [Scott Greenfield]
  • “In unmarked cars, Orlando, Fla. officers box in car whose occupants are suspected of not wearing seatbelts; the driver drives off; the police catch up, ram the car, and shoot the driver dead. Allegation: Contrary to the officers’ testimony, the driver wasn’t about to run over an officer when he was killed; he couldn’t have, as the car’s engine had died after police rammed the vehicle. Eleventh Circuit: Qualified immunity. (H/t: Police4aqi.)” [John K. Ross, “Short Circuit”]
  • Police unionization may increase misconduct: “Our primary result is that collective bargaining rights lead to about a 27% increase in complaints of officer misconduct for the typical sheriff’s office.” [Dhammika Dharmapala, Richard H. McAdams, and John Rappaport via Jonathan Adler]
  • Dept. will publish accounts of misconduct investigations, but with names of officers omitted: “NYPD Argues They Simply Can’t Be More Transparent About Its Violent Cops” [Molly Osberg, Splinter News]
  • Michigan: “Seven Current and Former Police Officers Charged with 101 Felony Counts related to Fraudulent Auto Inspections”
    [Attorney General Bill Schuette]

Best of Overlawyered — May 2017

Virginia mom arrested, charged over $1 gag-gift alarm clock

Daphne Page, 52, says she bought the “sticks of dynamite” novelty alarm clock for $1 at a garage sale and was going to give it to her daughter as a gag gift. After she left it in the back seat of her car at a grocery store, someone noticed it and raised an alarm which drew emergency fire and police response. “Page was charged with the manufacture, possession or use of explosives — a statute that includes the manufacture and possession of hoax devices.” [Ned Oliver, Richmond Times-Dispatch]

For one possibility as to what the clock might have looked like, there is a “bomb-like alarm clock” listed at Amazon Canada though not currently for sale (h/t Claudia C.). In the Virginia incident, assuming that Ms. Page’s account is accurate, the item would presumably not have been powered and turned on, and would thus not have been displaying any time numbers, blinking lights or the like. A similar object may have been involved in this Sonoma County, California incident last year in which emergency crews responding to what turned out to be unrelated fires at a mobile home complex ordered an evacuation after seeing the item in a bedroom.

While it is easy to see why lawmakers might seek to attach criminal penalties to pretend-bombs in some circumstances, it is less clear that charges are appropriate where there is no evidence of intent to use them to panic or threaten people. Posts on toy guns, including proposals for bans and for manufacturer liability, are here.

Free speech roundup

  • Arizona water utility sues customer over criticism [Popehat, which also has a free-speech-themed Blawg Review tribute and the year in blasphemy law]
  • Harvey Silverglate, “The Slow Death of Free Speech at Harvard” [Minding the Campus] Cato’s Free Speech Week coverage includes video of recent Jonathan Rauch panel [Tim Lynch]
  • Arrest warrant issued after Connecticut man tells Facebook readers he plans to take toy guns into school to prove point [Volokh]
  • In Florida, it’s illegal for two or more people to join together and spend more than $500 on a state ballot issue [Ilya Shapiro; Jacob Sullum on other grassroots-activist chill effects] Brad Smith on the fight at the Supreme Court between Shaun McCutcheon and the FEC [WSJ]
  • “Florida Condo Developer Sues Residents Over Website” [IJ]
  • Lawmaker to introduce anti-SLAPP bill to curb vexatious plaintiffs in Pennsylvania, and no state needs it more [Philly Law Blog; cf. Michigan which also could use a hand]
  • Will measures to criminalize revenge porn erode Section 230, the provision that shelters online media operators from liability for user-added content? [Mark Bennett, Scott Greenfield] At European Court for Human Rights, notice-and-takedown policy not enough to insulate Estonian website from liability for racist user comments [Stanford CIS]

Guns roundup

  • On Tuesday, Sen. Dick Durbin convenes hearing intended to bash “Stand Your Ground,” ALEC, and anyone associated with either; keep an eye on the testimony of my Cato colleague Ilya Shapiro who may prove more than a match [Sun-Times, Tuccille, Keating; background; hearing now postponed] Accuracy problems dog Coalition to Stop Gun Violence on SYG [John Hinderaker, PowerLine] Demagoguing Lane, Belton slayings is no way to “balance” media skew on Martin/Zimmerman [Ann Althouse]
  • Following “finger-gun” episode at another Maryland school: “Gun gesture leads to suspension for Calvert sixth-grader” [WaPo, earlier] Why a mom changed her mind on letting kid play with toy guns [C. Gross-Loh, The Atlantic]
  • Advocacy play-by-play: “A how-to book on inciting a moral panic” [James Taranto]
  • If you think gun liberties are shrinking overall in America, check out this map [Volokh] “Illinois Supreme Court: Second Amendment Protects Carrying Outside the Home” [Volokh] “Chicago abolishes gun registry in place since 1968” [Reuters]
  • Forthcoming Nicholas Johnson book “Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms” [Law and Liberty]
  • Database cross-checks put California on slippery slope confiscation-wise [Steven Greenhut]
  • Cato amicus brief: Supreme Court should clarify that the Second Amendment “protects more than the right to keep a gun in one’s home.” [Shapiro, Cato; Woollard v. Gallagher, Maryland]

Guns roundup

  • Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns blurs lines between 501c(4), New York City government sponsorship [Politico]
  • “Ordinary purposes” of derringer include carrying it around routinely with safety not engaged, argue lawyers in product liability case [Abnormal Use]
  • Connecticut’s confiscatory law: “State took guns of man for mischief night egg fight” [Greenwich Time]
  • “This kind of insurance doesn’t even exist.” Concern over D.C. councilor Mary Cheh’s proposal for mandatory $250K coverage for gun owners [Washington Times]
  • $60K New York City fine for tourist shop that sold gun-shaped lighters [Reason]
  • And more annals of gun hysteria: “Suspension over gun-shaped toaster pastry is now permanent mark on kid’s record” [Eric Owens, Daily Caller] Episode of Lego-sized toy gun ends more happily [LtB] “‘Playing with Toy Guns Desensitizes Children to Using Real Guns…’ Uh, Sez Who?” [Free-Range Kids]
  • “Defense of mass surveillance = defense of more gun control: To get bad guys, treat EVERYONE like a criminal.” [@ABartonHinkle]

Ontario: dad arrested after 4 year old draws picture of gun

The trouble began at school in Kitchener, Ontario, when a 4-year-old girl drew a picture of her father, Jessie Sansone, with a gun in his hand. When asked about the gun in the picture, according to police, the girl said her siblings played with it and that it scared her. “The school principal, police and child welfare officials… said they had to investigate to determine whether there was a gun in Sansone’s house that children had access to.” And apparently that “investigation” had to involve detaining and strip-searching Sansone when he showed up at school to pick up his daughter, searching his home, and spiriting away his other children to Family and Children’s Services to be interviewed. Sansone was told he was being charged with possession of a firearm — from the article’s context, an offense in itself in that Second-Amendment-less locality. When police searched the Sansone home, they found “a clear plastic toy gun that shoots soft plastic biodegradable BBs and retails for around $20 at Walmart” and he was released without charges. [The Record; Joe O’Connor, National Post]

January 21 roundup

  • Because judges should decide cases the way clamoring crowds want them to: “Occupy the Courts” [Althouse, Somin, earlier] Pittsburgh lawprof: bank’s office park has become public forum and is ours to seize [Daily Caller]
  • Some reactions to Megaupload indictment [Julian Sanchez, Ken at Popehat]
  • Kozinski, others trade quips at oral argument in Disneyland Segway ADA case [Courthouse News via Disabilities Law, earlier] “Ouch! Judge Posner eviscerates both a damages expert and the trial judge who let him testify against FedEx” [Technology Law Notes]
  • Victim of NYC gun laws: “Free Meredith Graves” [NRO] “NYC Business Bled To Death Over Toy Guns” [Moonbattery]
  • “Old Enough to Fight, Old Enough to Swipe: A Critique of the Infancy Rule in the Federal Credit Card Act” [Andrew Schwartz (Colorado), SSRN, via Ted Frank]
  • Federal drug cops unapologetic about role in Adderall shortage [Rob Port] A failure of central planning [Reuters, Jacob Sullum and more (“Does the DEA know what ‘quota’ means?”)] Some trial lawyers pushing to ban the drug [via Ted Frank].
  • Go, my child, and steal no more: TSA agents who pilfered $40K from luggage get six months [AP via Balko]